5.22.2009

Let Me Eat Cake!

Susan's b-day, ca. 1970 -- how about those ringlets?


Okay, let THEM eat cake too.
In fact, all of you can have some.




If I were having an actual birthday party, I would want to invite all of you and Maira Kalman. If Marie Antoinette were having a birthday party, she would want to invite this lady.

And I'm sure there would definitely be CAKE.

Luckily, you can have cake without an actual party. But if your favorite resident cake-baker extraordinaire relocates to rural Vermont, you may be called upon to bake it yourself.

Of course I'm not above baking my own birthday cake. For one thing, it guarantees I'll get exactly what I want.

And this year I want:



Grandma
Myrl's
Strawberry
Cream
Cake!





Since I can't offer you an actual piece, I'll instead offer you the recipe (get a pencil -- anytime Grandma Myrl is sharing a recipe, you'll want to write it down).

Grandma Myrl's Strawberry Cream Cake

Bake a white cake mix according to package directions (Grandma used whole eggs) in a 13x9" pan. When cool, top with:

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar (generous)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup whipping cream

Cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Whip cream stiff and fold in a little at a time. Spread over cooled cake. Cover entire surface of cake with fresh glazed strawberries (Grandma used Danish Dessert, which I don't believe has been around for awhile. If you find any in your pantry, probably best to throw it out and buy [or make] some new-fangled glaze -- any glaze you like will work.) Chill until ready to serve.


*Grandma's sister Irene used blueberry pie filling, which if I liked blueberry pie filling, would undoubtedly have been delish.



This picture looks a lot like an actual Grandma Myrle Birthday Cake -- fluffy 7-minute icing, plastic flower candle holders. She also made a spectacular Chocolate Vinegar cake -- sounds icky but it was a depression era (no eggs) recipe, with just a hint of cinnamon. Luckily Russ will be having a birthday soon, so it will be a two cake month.

Grandma Myrl's husband Grandpa Kenneth used to say:

"Myrl, this third piece doesn't taste as good as the first two did. What did you do to it?"

While I'm enjoying my third piece, I'm going to need something to keep my mind off the fact that I'm feeling a little full. I think it will be just the time to enjoy a good book.

So on to stop #2 on the needlework book tour:



Embroidered Pictures by Dorothy Tucker.

I found this little gem on the shelf at Half-Price Books, but it would definitely have been worth full price.


The Magic Garden, Rebecca Crompton, 1934


Within its pages I first encountered the incomparable Rebecca Crompton, whom I introduced to you in a previous T.G.I.F.F.T. But there are plenty of other delights as well.



L'Heure Bleue, Lucienne Lanski, 1983



It's Alright, Primmy Chorley, 1991



Salley Mavor puts in a welcome appearance:



Feeding Chickens, Salley Mavor, 1986


And one of the things that I love most about this book is that with every work featured, there are detailed diagrams and drawings explaining stitching/construction techniques.






Eugenia's Lemon Tree, Audrey Walker, 1990


Some of the pieces still blow my mind every time I see them.




Detail, Eugenia's Lemon Tree


Audrey Walker, for instance, virtually "paints" with a needle and thread.




I use stab stitching in the background of my pieces as well, but imagine what I could do with layer upon layer of them! Perhaps that will be the next phase of my pieces . . .
when the prices go way WAY up.




The Spencers Gardening, Ann V. Sutton, 1984







But one of the things that really sets this book apart is that historical pieces are interspersed throughout. Those are going to require their own stop on the book tour.

Anyway, I hope I get a present half as good as that book for my birthday!

At least I know I'm going to get a piece of my favorite cake.

And Russ is home from a week in Korea,
laden with mysterious-looking packages . . .
which bodes well . . .

Happy Weekend, one and all!

11 comments:

abi said...

Thanks for sharing these great books. I wish I had the patience for hand stitching. It is probably just my post-partum hormones, but the Primary Chorley picture made me tear up. So sweet.

susan m hinckley said...

I love that one too -- in the book she says: "It's Alright expresses an experience which gave Primmy a sense of total serenity and the realisation that, whatever happens, life goes on." She creates her embroideries in her isolated cottage in North Wales while busy raising/home schooling her children, who often add their ideas as she sews. Her daughter is beginning to stitch pictures of her own. Sweet.

VO said...

Once again, you've packed more great stuff into one post. Now I'm hungry!

I am loving Audrey Walker's work. Just incredible! I have to search the web for more. Need more eye candy.

And cake! Lucious cake. Happy Birthday!

And stitching diagrams and details. Ooooh,now I'm hungry to eat and stitch and create.

susan m hinckley said...

I have one other amazing Audrey Walker thing that I'm going to share in a post soon -- if you come across anything, please send me a link!

And I must confess that after I wrote the post I had to try a cupcake recipe I've been looking for an excuse to make and it was fantastic! And so easy. It was my pre-birthday-cake cake, of which I am unashamed.

Allie said...

I'm laughing out loud at what Grandpa said. My kinda guy, lol!
Look how adorable you were! I had ringlets too - all the way down to my bum - and I cut them all off when I was four, on my mom's wedding day. [My first dad died when I was two]. Everybody else was getting their hair done, and I was jealous.
I love all the stitcheries - wowzers!

Jake and Chelsea said...

that is so funny you want strawberry cream cake. for the last few days i have been craving that cake and seriously thinking about calling you to get the recipe. how nice of you to read my mind!!

that painting with the thread is unbelievable! i could get into that.

VO said...

I couldn't find one gallery type place for Audrey Walkers work sooooo, here is a google image search link: http://images.google.com/images?q=Audrey%20Walker%20embroidery&sourceid=opera&num=0&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

I'm fascinated by her embroidery, almost pointilism-like work. So much texture, so much gradation, it's wild.

Ya know somewhere I have this fabulous cupcake recipe, it's to die for. I need to look for it. The frosting is sooo yummy, the combo is delish and you can't eat just one.

VO said...

Ahhhh, here is the recipe. click hereI also posted this to my blog.

whimseycreations said...

Oh gosh Danish Dessert - I used to LOVE to make that when I was a pre-teen. I think I liked the fact that it started as pale and kept turning darker and darker as it thickened more than eating it! I had forgotten all about that stuff. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

abi said...

Oh, I meant to say Happy Birthday in my comment the other day - dumb me! And also that I saw Danish Dessert at the walmart the other day. It still exists!

Melanie said...

That cake sounds delicious! And yes, I've seen Danish Dessert also still around. maybe it depends on the part of the country you are in. I hope you had a Happy, Happy birthday! Love that book. My mom did/does a lot of embroidery. Maybe I'll buy it for her.

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